Acne and I have had a love/hate relationship: Acne loves me, I hate Acne. Its taken a long time for me to get rid of acne. You’d think by the time I hit my 30’s that I wouldn’t have to struggle with acne. No luck! In fact, I had struggled on and off with my acne all the way until now. However, I did have really nice skin for several years … I really believe it was the water.
When we moved to our current location, I struggled and struggled with keeping my acne under control. It took me a couple of years to figure out what was going on. I was pregnant in the middle and of course had beautiful, glowing skin – why can’t they bottle that!? Anyways, this is what did and did not work for me:
What causes acne:
- Jojoba oil – Its purported as non-comedogenic and is readily found in lots of natural products. Some people have had amazing results using Jojoba oil in helping to clear up their acne. But for me, it just doesn’t work… I break out…. bad!
- Hard water – Hard water is a nightmare for my face. The pH level of hard water is alkaline and our skin/faces are actually acidic. Makes sense if you think about the products that help: salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid, etc.
- Damaged acid mantle – If you have acne (or any other skin rash) then you have an imbalance in your acid mantle.
- Large pores & dry skin – My face is actually on the dry side and I have large pores. SO if my face gets dry and flaky, I end up with acne. If you’re not sure how acne is caused, it is caused from dirt & in my case skin flakes getting caught in the oil in your pores.
What got rid of acne:
- Figure out if any ingredients were causing acne – By trial and error, I figured out it was the jojoba oil. For you, it might be something else that is causing it. Different skin reacts differently with different things. The way I figured it out was by:
- I started using just baking soda for my shampoo so that there wouldn’t be any other ingredients getting on my face.
- I used the oil cleansing method to wash my face and then used the same oil to moisturize my skin and condition my hair. I started with olive oil (too greasy) and used it for 2 weeks. Then to coconut oil (second favorite, light but actually too light for my skin but decent for my hair) used it for about a month but started to notice a few minor breakouts. Then I tried Jojoba oil and WHAM – tons of acne. Stopped that immediately. Tried almond oil (lovely, but felt my skin didn’t get as clean although felt very moisturized and definitely too greasy for my hair). Then used Argan (Moroccan) oil – my absolute favorite. Will get more into that on a different post.
- Eliminated jojoba oil – Obviously once I discovered it was Jojoba oil that had been causing my breakouts got rid of all products with it in it. Turns out it was in a lot of my natural products like my kids’ shampoo that I would use occasionally (California Baby), my sunscreen that I used on my face. Which by the way, both of those products I had started using AFTER we moved!
- Address the hard water – We got a shower water filter and that worked pretty well for awhile, except it was expensive to replace and our budget really is tight. SO figured out that if I protect my face from the water until the very end then it greatly reduced the acne. How do I do this? I put a homemade mask on my face before I get in the shower and the last thing I do is wash it off. It is gentle enough to use every day (like I really take a shower every day – I have kids!) but thick enough to keep my face from getting damaged from our hard water while I take a shower.
- Repair the acid mantle – When I told my best friend what I was doing, she thought I was nuts… that is until my face cleared up. Every time I got out of the shower, I would take a thin slice of a lemon (you can keep using the same lemon for over a week) and rub it on my face. When I first started, my face stung light crazy. I started to worry that it wasn’t the right thing to do but then I realized that lemon juice doesn’t hurt my hand or elbows when I put it on, so it clearly is because the pH is off on my face. So I would combine the lemon juice with some water to dilute it. After a week, I started using it directly again. Within 2 weeks, my acne had all but disappeared! Now I only use it when I get a break out from hormonal reasons – still haven’t been able to stop those. But they’re very small now and only once a month. P.S. The monthly breakouts definitely are worse if I eat too much sugar.
- Moisturize – This step is so incredibly important. I found the best solution for me was oil, in particular Argan Oil from Josie Maran. It is the perfect balance of moisturizing, nourishing without being greasy. They have a small size for $14 to try out. I HIGHLY recommend it (If you’re going to try it, you should sign up with eBates first and get some cash back)! For so many years, I’d strip the oil from my face and never put enough moisture back so then my pores would be on hyperdrive and produce even more oil. Oh how I wish I knew what I know now when I was a teenager!
If you’re struggling with acne, I really hope that you find out how to get rid of acne, too! Hopefully my journey and my tips will help you to have clear skin, too!